South Cotabato ends school days to keep COVID-19 away
KORONADAL CITY—All classes in South Cotabato province had been ordered stopped in a bid to keep COVID-19 at bay.
Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said class suspensions were only among several measures being taken to prevent the spread of the disease in the province following two confirmed cases in Mindanao.
“Students are vulnerable to transmission,” he said.
Mindanao’s first COVID-19 case, labelled as Patient 40, was a 54-year old man from Lanao del Sur, who died on March 13.
He had sought refuge in Metro Manila during the 2017 Marawi war and returned to to Lanao del Sur recently. He was first admitted to the Adventist Medical Center in Iligan City then transferred to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City where he died.
The second confirmed COVID-19 patient, tagged as Patient 130, is a 21-year-old Filipino woman who travelled from the United Kingdom to Manila with a layover in Doha, Qatar.
She travelled from Manila to Davao City last February 29. She was taken to isolation at the state-run Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City.
Tamayo said that classes will remain suspended until President Rodrigo Duterte lifts the state of public health emergency that was declared last week following the confirmed local transmission of COVID-19 in Metro Manila .
The Department of Health raised the COVID-19 alert level to Code Red Sub-level 2 and placed the entire Metro Manila under “community quarantine.”
The President ordered a halt on domestic travel to and from Manila, the suspension of classes and a ban on large gatherings.
Tamayo urged school administrators and principals to heed his order suspending classes for the protection of students.
Final exams were supposedly set this week for private and public schools for the school year 2019-2020.
Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, South Cotabato health chief, said the province remains negative of COVID-19 as of Monday (March 16).
He urged people who had been to Metro Manila to go on home quarantine for 14 days, the estimated incubation period of the virus that causes COVID-19.
While on home quarantine, patients were advised to keep a distance of three feet from other household members and avoid sharing utensils and other personal belongings.
Edited by TSB
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